University applications are in full swing in Great Britain. Thousands of Year 13 pupils are polishing off their Personal Statements which they will send off before 15th January* as part of their UCAS** application.

Then begins the wait for the replies from the five potential universities chosen. One clear choice, however, has already been made: the subject which is going to be studied. This thought gave me the idea of looking into what various people – those in the public eye as well as ‘ordinary’ people – read (studied) at university. What impact does the choice, made very often at the age of 17, have on a person’s future?

My daughter has recently graduated from Bristol university with a degree in Modern Languages and is now hoping to forge a career in Fashion. Her friends at Bristol completed degrees in subjects including German, Economics, Physiology and Neuroscience; it will be fascinating to see what these lead to – just as it is to take a look at previous undergraduates’ subject choices.



  • Rowan Atkinson   Electrical Engineering   Comedian & Actor
  • Chris Martin   Ancient World Studies   Singer
  • Margaret Thatcher   Chemistry   Prime Minister
  • J K Rowling   French, German, Greek   Author
  • Hugh Grant   English   Actor
  • Martha Lane Fox   Ancient & Modern History   Founder:
  • Tom Hiddleston   Classics   Actor
  • Theresa May   Geography   Prime Minister
  • Justin Welby   History & Law   Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Mick Jagger   Business   Rock star



  • Lynn   History   Partner, London law firm
  • Simon   French & English   Banker
  • Peter   Modern Languages   Writer & journalist
  • Alyson   French and Russian   Anglican Vicar
  • Tom   History of Art   Art curator
  • David   Chemistry   Banker
  • Nick   Modern Languages   British Ambassador
  • Alexandra   History   Founder: Augustine Jewels
  • Barnaby   No degree   Notaphilist & auctioneer
  • Will   No degree (Army)   Stockbroker



  • Saskia   French & Spanish   Head of Music, Xpression FM
  • Rosie   Neuroscience & Physiology   Banker
  • Jake   History   Entrepreneur, Technology
  • Laeticia   History of Art   Caterer
  • Anastasia   Classical Studies   Sports Marketing
  • Greg   Philosophy   Actor
  • Gina   Theology   Primary school teacher
  • Clementine   Archeology & Anthropology   Video producer
  • Kai   Russian & French   Asset Management
  • Ellie   Geography   Human Resources


* The deadline for Oxford or Cambridge and medical or veterinary school was 18th October.

**University and Colleges Admissions Services.

For those interested in finding out about how to apply to British universities, contact Sophie de Lageneste

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